Hillcrest Ensemble playing Full Moon Concert Thursday, June 24

Mike Seals - June 15, 2021 11:26 pm


“Hillcrest Ensemble” will perform “The Great American Songbook” at the upcoming Full Moon Concert on Thursday, June 24 at the Heart in the Park pavilion in Centennial Park, 301 East Grand in Tonkawa. Eight area musicians will present American Standards – including classics such as Blue Moon, Crazy, Sentimental Journey, Georgia on my Mind, Let It Be Me, In the Mood, On the Sunny Side of the Street, Walking after Midnight, and more popular favorites.

Members of the Hillcrest Ensemble are Denise Jones, clarinet; Paul Parma, bass; Kevin Roe, tenor saxophone; Larry Lenhart, guitar; Suzi Lenhart, vocals; Marsha Moore, vocals; and Mike Seals, jazz piano. Guest vocalists for the evening are Abby Davis, Tonkawa and Kate Branstetter, Ponca City.

Denise Jones received her BFA degree in Music Education from Wichita State University and taught band for two years in Wichita and twenty-six years in Ponca City. She played bassoon with the Mariah Trio and with various local groups and serves on Arts Adventure Foundation board of directors. Denise and her husband Stan reside in Ponca City.

Paul Parma received his Bachelor’s degree in Music from University of Tulsa and his Master’s degree in Music from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Kevin Roe grew up in Muskogee and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Music from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Along with performing the tenor saxophone and bass, Kevin is a retired firefighter. He married his high school sweetheart 44 years ago and lives in Newkirk.

Larry Lenhart, a Ponca City native, earned his Master of Science in Education from Arizona State University and retired from teaching math at Ponca City High School.  Larry took guitar lessons and taught at Bill Pruitt’s Music Studio in Ponca City in the 1960s, and has played early rock & roll and country music in various bands over the years.

Suzi Lenhart is a vocal, recorder, uke and piano instructor and has been teaching in her Ponca City studio (Miss Suzi’s Singing School) for 39 years. Prior to that, she taught public school music in Arizona and Wisconsin.  She holds both Bachelor and Master degrees in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Suzi and Larry Lenhart have been married 47 years.

Marsha Moore loves to sing, and husband, Al, and her two sons and families kindly support her music passion. Although she formerly played the violin, Marsha now favors the ukulele because it makes self-accompaniment easier. Marsha sings in the Grace Episcopal church choir and in CASONO. She has been sad not to have choral activities during the pandemic.

Mike Seals earned a BA degree in Jazz Piano Performance from Jacksonville State University in Jacksonville, AL, and a Master’s degree in Jazz Studies from Rowan University, Glassboro, NJ. For ten years, he played piano as a member of the US Army Band program, and worked overseas for nearly 30 years, with 26 years in Kuwait. There he had two bands, “The Kuwait Jazz Trio,” and a rock cover band called “Bar None.” Mike and his wife, Kym (Long) returned to Ponca City in 2018 after Mike taught music for a year at Rowan University. Kym will be the Sound Technician for the program.

Guest vocalists Abby Davis and Kate Branstetter will sing several solos as well as a trio number with Miss Suzi. Abby and Kate will be entering 11th grade in the fall and have been Miss Suzi’s students from an early age. Both have sung solos and duets for many years and have been vocal winners at both local and state Junior Music festivals as well as holding leading roles in the Evans Children’s Academy of Performing Arts. Kate is currently studying with Eddie Dixon.

The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free to all. Since seating in the park is limited, the public is invited to bring lawn chairs or blankets. Snacks, drinks, and pets on leashes are welcome, and restrooms are located across the street in the Santa Fe Depot.

Throughout the evening, concert goers may walk the world’s only heart-shaped labyrinth, and the evening concludes with the traditional group howl at the full moon. North Central Oklahoma Arts Council and Heart in the Park Committee sponsor the free monthly concerts from May to September on the night of the full moon. Next month’s Full Moon Concert scheduled for Friday, July 23 will feature Harwood, Roberts, and Thompson performing an exciting mix of jazz, rock and New Orleans rhythm and blues.

Heart in the Park and NCOAC are not liable for any risks for Covid-19. All Heart in the Park and NCOAC events will abide by CDC Guidelines. In case of inclement weather, the concert will be moved indoors to the Art Center of Tonkawa at 202 East Grand. Check for Full Moon Concert updates at www.heartinthepark.org and on NCOAC Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TonkawaArts/



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